Anyone who’s ever experienced an anxiety attack knows how paralyzing and traumatic it can be. Triggers vary from person to person, and it can come seemingly out of nowhere – not to mention, the underlying causes are often personal too.
While health is an idiosyncratic journey where one size does not fit all, there are still ways to minimize the damage anxiety can have. From incorporating breathing exercises to developing your own mantra, here are five ways you can reduce panic attacks.
Try breathing exercises
Many therapists recommend breathing exercises to help focus your attention elsewhere. Practice equal breathing where you inhale and exhale for the same period of time repeatedly (approximately five seconds). While doing this, purse your lips so your breath is forced to escape more slowly. Check out some additional breathing techniques here.
Carry “grounding objects”
Whether it’s your phone with pre-downloaded meditation podcasts or a small vile of lavender essential oil, carry something with you that will help center you. Having something familiar with you and something that’s associated with a more peaceful time can help return you to your baseline.
Change your diet, starting with caffeine and alcohol
This can be obvious to some, but it’s also easily overlooked. Try something like the Whole30 method and systemically start reintroducing certain foods over a period of 30 days. See if you can notice a difference and then eliminate any agitating factors.
Develop a mantra
Many therapists suggest developing a mantra that you can repeat either out loud or in your head to dissuade yourself from buying into your own negative thoughts. Here are some examples:
- “This is not as bad as it seems.”
- “I’m strong and capable.”
- “This too shall pass.”
Talk and journal about it
We all know about the stigma surrounding mental health issues, but the only way we can overcome it is to talk freely and openly. Keep a journal and chronicle your anxiety attacks including how you felt that day, what triggered it, what you ate, how much work you had, or whatever the pertinent details were. Choose to educate yourself and those around you. Choose empowerment over shame and encourage others to do the same.
Always remember, you are not alone. Here are six things therapists recommend the next time you feel lonely.
xx, The FabFitFun Team